LingQ to Fluency?

Ok, so I have seen a lot of people on YouTube and online, promoting LingQ. I am a new user to LingQ and am wondering 2 things. What is the difference between FLTR and LingQ? The other question and the main one I have… are there ANY users who have used LingQ from a very beginner level, all the way to Fluency? Fluency meaning, able to SPEAK and UNDERSTAND native speakers? If so, please tell your story.

There are a lot of non-believers in LingQ, simply because there aren’t sites promoting users making it to Fluency, using only LingQ. In fact, I’ve seen many who say that LingQ doesn’t even work for beginners, that you should only use LingQ once you are up to intermediate level, to build your vocabulary further. Anyone?

LingQ is the thing that got me to a good level in German. This is hands down the best tool for learning languages. With LingQ and with listening to music, I am able to understand quite a good amount of german, and I am well on my way to being able to produce it eloquently. Most of the time I can just speak. Little thoughts about it, I can just go. Without LingQ I KNOW I would not be able to.

It should first be pointed out that LingQ in an of itself is not a language learning method but a language learning tool with a suggested methodology, which is different from a standalone method.

Whether and how LingQ is suitable for beginners in an oft-debated question here and a quick search of the forum will show you some debates on it. My short answer would be: Yes, but many beginners may find a self-study course like Assimil more user-friendly at first start.

However, whether someone has used it form 0 to fluent is beside the point, I think. That is because your language studies will break down into two main phases: 1. From A0 absolute beginner to B2 Intermediate, and 2. From B2 to C2+ fluent

If you wanna go from A0 - B2 you can find a lot of great and not so great methods out there, from the highly regarded Assimil to the various alternates, apps, etc. LingQ can take you to B2 as well if you decided to use this tool with its suggested methodology and available content. OR you can actually use LingQ as a tool to study materials provided by other methods.

But for the second phase, from B2 to complete C2+ fluency, LingQ becomes a unique place and working with it can build your vocabulary better than any other alternates out there, and get you to understand native level spoken and written content faster than any other alternates.

Speaking fluently will always be a matter of practice. It doesn’t matter what method you study with, to speak well, you have to speak a lot. However, speaking after a massive amount passive input is a lot more comfortable than trying to memorize “Where is the library?” for an hour when you first start learning.


Thank you for your reply, Oxygen. That is very encouraging to hear. So you started as a beginner on LingQ? Between music and LingQ, are they the only tools you used? I must admit, this guy here almost scared me completely away from LingQ: Better than LINGQ best FREE Foreign Language Online Learning, Christophe Clugston - YouTube
Saying that it doesn’t work. He seems to have a lot of “believers” in the comments section.

Thank you for that information, t_harangi. I was hoping that LingQ could bring me to fluency, because I just don’t have time to do much else. I’m usually swamped between a new family, traveling and working. I think what brought “fluency” to mind, were the videos I saw of Steve Kaufman, saying that LingQ can bring you to fluency from a beginner level. I believe he said he did it with Russian?

I am really just shooting for a B2 level. If I could make it to this point using only LingQ, I would be ecstatic, as I have always wanted to learn Spanish. I’ve never looked in to Assimil. I’ve heard Steve talk about it a few times. I will have a look at it.

I really hope more people come on board here, talking about their experience of using LingQ. How far they have come from a beginner stage.

Look, I’m still just about 6 months into this, but the fact is that “using” lingq to fluency is going to necessitate having conversations with oral tutors. That is going to get into money. Now you may have that money budgeted, fine. But if you don’t plan on doing that then you are going to need some locals to speak to, stores to go to and talk with hispaniohablantes, or some way to actually use all this vocab that lingq is teaching us.

I started from absolute zero with Lingq with Spanish and about 10 months on I can say that I have most definitely improved. I am still not where I want to be but I know that if I keep going I will get there. I often get told that my Spanish is really good but I think that is partly the fact that I speak with a lot of people from spain so I always have someone to talk to. if you have any other questions please ask.

First, Your question is a great question and is a reasonable one to ask. LingQ is ultimately something that you have to try for yourself to see if it is something you enjoy and feel works for you. With that being said, practically any language learning method will work, the only thing that will really allow you to improve is the time you dedicate to the language.

I personally have seen a huge success with LingQ in at least two languages, that no other method that I have used could even come close to allowing me to progress. I took a year and a half of Mandarin Chinese in college, did mediocre and had terrible sentence structure a low vocabulary and barely was seeing success in the classroom. I, later on, studied various languages as a result of my program of study in my Master’s Program. I even took Classical Chinese for two years in graduate school. Halfway through my graduate program, I started using LingQ. I used it to learn French in conjunction with my school coursework, and in 15 weeks I was reading scholarly articles understanding upwards of 90%.

Before I started French, I was using LingQ to start back with Mandarin. In 4 months of fairly intensive work on my own reading and listening to interesting content (almost entirely on LingQ with a little bit of practice on iTalki), I was having basic conversations with people. I studied on LingQ for about 8 months on Mandarin and was very happy with my progress speed. I ended up stopping on LingQ for a while to focus on my Thesis. I returned to LingQ in mid-January, cleared my program and I am almost back to where I was, and I have to say, LingQ for me is the most useful tool out there for learning most languages. While Hebrew was a pain in the neck as I kept encountering issues with the nikkudot, every other language I have worked with on here I have seen major progress. I am focusing right now on Mandarin, and I wouldn’t call myself fluent yet, but my girlfriend who is Chinese has made comments that my Chinese has drastically improved, both in vocabulary and grammar. I don’t even use LingQ for speaking, but I pay attention when I read, and I notice sentence structures and attempt to use them when I speak. If it were not for this program I would not be able to access material that is constantly keeping me interested in the language, and by extension allowing me to improve. I am not guaranteeing this will be the best system for you, but I recommend anybody who is interested in learning a language, they should at least give LingQ a go. Try it for 6 months in the way that Steve recommends. If you don’t think it is for you then don’t continue. Granted, I don’t only use LingQ, but nobody should just use one method to learn anything, experiment and see what works best for you, but for me, $10 a month is without a doubt worth every penny.

If you are curious as to how I am approaching learning Chinese, then check out my profile, but LingQ is my main resource.

Hope it helps, and I hope you become a LingQ-er. (I do see you have experimented, don’t give up yet).

Best of luck,
-Cody C.


There have been several great comments already, but I will add my thoughts. LingQ is a very powerful tool. It’s powerful because it allows you utilize lots of content for input-based learning, meaningful exposure to the language you’re learning. As others have said, that’s the point, and ultimately the way everyone learns a language: exposure to that language. So, sure, you could use “only LingQ” but I’m not sure that’s the right question. If you mean learning by reading and listening to lots of material, using LingQ to help you understand that material and build your vocabulary and familiarity with the language, then sure. I don’t think you need a lot more (maybe a starter book to get your beyond the very early stages). But, you also shouldn’t think that you are just going to work through the lessons in the library and get to fluency. You have to find material of interest to you and read and listen to lots of it; that’s where the magic happens. And that might mean some of the stuff in the library, but it will also mean finding native content of interest and studying it through the LingQ interface.

But, the bottom line is that it’s lots and lots of exposure to the language that gets you to where you want to be. LingQ is a powerful tool to make that easier and more efficient. In my experience, the major obstacles I’ve faced haven’t been flaws with this or that method, and certainly not with LingQ. Obstacles I’ve encountered have included a lack of interesting material or, as you mentioned, lack of time and energy. Learning a language takes time, period. That doesn’t mean several hours a day, but it does mean accumulating lots of time over the long haul (months and years).


I don’t think you can become properly fluent with just LingQ, but there is no better way to improve vocabulary and knowing words and phrases, assuming good listening comprehension, is what is going to get you to understanding what people are saying.

I just think you need the extra ‘real life’ stuff on top which comes from visual cues - body language, facial expressions, etc. I guess there are some LingQ lessons with videos which counts, so maybe you could.

Who knows. Maybe someone should try, in a language they don’t know, and see if they can go from scratch to fluent just using LingQ.

This guy is a ‘linguist’ who flunked out of DLI and FSI, did some bogus linguistics course in some unaccredited university in south east Asia, can’t write or speak English properly, can’t speak French (his claimed native tongue) properly, and a person who sells his own ‘method’ which he won’t explain or demonstrate, but promises if you give him $50 he will get you to fluency.

He’s a charlatan.

Although he does know a lot about linguistics. But that’s unrelated to language learning, as is evident from his total failure with the languages he claims to know.

Yeah, I almost said something about that video in my comment. The Internet is full of people warning you against trying to do things in the “wrong way” or telling you not to eat too much fruit or don’t give to the “wrong” charity, etc. There’s such a thing as prudence and it’s smart to consider sound advice, but these people who just tear other things down without demonstrating any expertise should be ignored. You aren’t going to ruin your brain by studying a language in a wrong way.


Thank you for that information, Prinz_PooBeard. Glad to know he is a fraud.

Yes, I should have spoken up about what I meant when I said, “Fluency”. I definitely know that to “activate” my knowledge of the language, I need to speak. I do plan on doing that eventually. Right now I’m more focused, and hoping, that I can get to the point to where I can “read” and “understand the audio” of what is being read back to me, in these lessons. I certainly hope I can attain this by just using LingQ.

That is awesome, jonesjack. So would you say that you can ‘read’ and ‘understand what is being read’ from these lessons here at LingQ? Or do you find that after 10 months, it is still difficult to listen and understand the audio in each lesson?

Yeah of course but it also depends on what the subject is, so I’ve only really started focusing on my listening since reaching 10.000 words so only for about 3 months I think I need to do more of it as I’m only listening for about 1.5 hours a day

Thank you for the very encouraging words, Cody. It’s awesome to read how far you have come using LingQ. I’m especially impressed with how fast you came to understand reading French. I am definitely going to keep at it. The only thing I keep wondering, is “how” am I supposed to be reading? In other words, when I go through an article here on LingQ, and I understand the meaning of the Spanish Words, I keep looking at the word but saying the English either out loud or in my head. Is that normal? Am I supposed to actually look at my target language, and yet just say the meaning in my native language, either in my head or out loud? I keep wondering how long it will take me to just “recognize” the words and know what they mean, without having to say the english translation in my head.

Again, thank you for your story, and to everyone who has contributed thus far.

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Thanks, Prinz_PooBeard. I plan on doing just that. Since I have so little time for anything else, I plan on focusing all my energy towards listening and reading to interesting content here on LingQ. Especially after such great and encouraging responses. I’m really glad I found this community here. I truly doubted Steve and many of his videos (even though I loved watching them). I thought there were better ways. But after much research, it really seems that reading and listening is one of the best ways to understand languages. It makes perfect sense to me when I really think about it. I can imagine that winning half of the battle, is being able to “understand” spoken language, even if you aren’t that great at speaking it yourself for a while.

I really do hope I see improvement after a few months, of being able to understand the audio in these lessons.

Thank you, JD HallKY. I haven’t found any content that really interests me yet, but that is mostly because I haven’t had the time to really search. I want to work through all of the “Mini Stories” first (since Steve Kaufman talks about it a lot), and then find some good Christian-based content that really interests me. I also would like to be able to bring content in myself, but I haven’t really researched how to do that yet either.

I’m really glad I received these responses from everyone, because I was in doubt that I could get anywhere after reading others’ (on the internet and YouTube) negative thoughts about LingQ. At least now I have some fire behind me to keep going.

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With respect to the method of reading, I think that the main thing is not to over-think it. Maybe someone will have a specific method that saves time, I have wondered about it myself. When I go through a story I listen until I get to a word that is lingqed and too hard to recognize or is blue. I listen to how the native speaker says it in context and imitate that out loud. I don’t worry about saying the english out loud but I find that certain parts of the spanish are now natural and I just “know” them without considering whether I have translated them in my head.
Also, with respect to Christian content, you can do a search for “Bible” and you will find I am in the process of uploading the entire Bible here on lingq. The first translation I am uploading is RV1960 with New King James Translation into english. If you study from the RV1960 you will HAVE to get comfortable with the subjunctive and be prepared for vosotros as well.